Dogs must think humans are crazy! Scurrying after them, scooping up their poo in little plastic bags. And they are right to wonder what we’re up to – there must be a better solution than sending poop-filled plastic to landfill where it slowly rots emitting greenhouse gases.
How to make the change
Switch to biodegradable dog poop bags, which you can compost (just make sure your local recycling station accepts pet waste) or even flush down the toilet. If you have your own backyard you can start a pet waste compost bin. This works for cat litter too if it’s biodegradable. Just don’t use the composted soil for growing vegetables.
Why make the change?
In America alone, dogs create 10 million tons of poop a year. In nature, this would biodegrade and nurture the soil. But when it’s put in plastic bags and sent to landfill this process takes hundreds of years. And every ounce of doggie doo produces methane — a greenhouse gas 30% more powerful than carbon dioxide. If pets are fed poor food their waste can also contain chemicals possibly harmful to the environment.
Be a climate ninja
Don’t keep a pet – no pets means no poop. And no need to feed them meat and/or fish, which also cause environmental problems. Or, stick to a one-pet policy. Researchers in New Zealand actually claim that the carbon footprint of owning a pet is twice as big as owning an SUV. And if you can’t live without pets, get one from an animal shelter or from someone who’s looking for a new home for their pet.